Rodeo series awarded

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— Despite the snow on the ground, cowboys and cowgirls certainly aren't forgetting this past season at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena.

The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series garnered one prestigious award and was a finalist for another.

The summer rodeo series was given the "Best Footing Award" by the Professional Women's Barrel Racers. The award is given annually to the arena with the best rodeo surface in the Mountain State Circuit, which includes all of Colorado and Wyoming.

Members of the PWBR vote on the award. Steamboat finished third last year.

"We get a lot of positive feedback from the contestants, and we have a good representative on the Barrel Racing Association that comes here and answers questions for the guys that prepare the arena," said Char Mighton, an administrator for the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series.

The city's Parks, Open Spaces and Recreational Services Department maintains the rodeo grounds.

Steamboat rodeo board treasurer Paul Strong said the PWBR award is a testament to the city's Parks and Rec crew.

"To me, that shows what a great job (rodeo and ski area supervisor) Jeff Nelson and his staff does," Strong said, noting what makes the award really special is that the Steamboat series goes for 10 weeks, whereas most of the arenas competing for the award host only one rodeo.

Steamboat's rodeo series also was among five finalists for "Best Small Town Rodeo in America" as voted on by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

This is the third time Steamboat has been nominated for the award in the past six years. The rodeo series won the award in 2002.

Rodeo committees in the PRCA as well as stock contractors voted on the award. It was won by the Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo in Clear Lake, S.D.

"The nomination for one of the five best rodeos really shows it's a top-quality rodeo," Strong said.

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